Moving to Xiamen

Hi all,

I've been hired to teach math at a high school in Xiamen and am moving to the country in about three days (probably be there by the time you read this, given the activity here).  I signed a two year contract.  I'm a 34 year old white guy who doesn't speak the language, know much about the culture, know anyone in China, and have never been anywhere more foreign than London.  I hail from Northwest Arkansas in the States, home of Walmart and a large international community of it's own, but most of them are Indian.

I'm hoping to find other English speaking expats in Xiamen who can show me the ropes and serve as a refreshing change of pace from the locals.  What I know is going to be hardest for me is not having my regular group of board gamers, or anyone to watch the Bears games with, assuming I'm able to find a place in China that shows American football games.

Hi there, I am in the process of moving to China to teach English. I originally wanted to move to one of the first tier cities but Xiamen appealing. What motivated you to move there. You have had 6 years in China.....where about?

I was convinced to move to Xiamen based on the offer my school made me.  The biggest perk was an apartment on campus, so I wouldn't have to commute to work, or worry about paying for rent and utilities.  The school administrator was also from my hometown, so it felt like fate. 

Xiamen is great, though.  It's clean, and there is plenty to do here.  Great shopping, great restaurants, friendly people.  I think you stand out more as a foreigner here than you do in other Chinese cities, but I've only been in China for just over 2 weeks, so this is word of mouth.  I already feel quite at home here. 

The downside to Xiamen is the oppressive heat.  I'm from the South, and I wasn't prepared for how hot it is all the time.

Hi there,

I am an Australian expat in Singapore and am thinking of moving to Xiamen.

I will be there to look around from Dec 7th to 20th 2017, and was also hoping to find someone to join up with to chat in English, enjoy some drinks/bands/sights or anything else as I am easy going , like to enjoy every day and open to all suggestions .

I have been in Singapore for some time so have been exposed to many cultures here as its a melting pot of Asian cultures and am very interested to find out more about Xiamen.

Thanks to all in advance.



Yeah, feel free to hit me up once you get into town.  I am relatively new to living in Asia, and don't know my way around Xiamen too well just yet, but I am always willing to meet new people and have a conversation with someone, in English, outside of work.  Any excuse to grab a beer is a good excuse.

So you are a razorback fan... I used to live outside of Little Rock in a place called Maumelle.  It's North of Pine Bluff.  Arkansas is hot, but your haven't seen anything until you've lived in the South of China. It's 99 degrees and 95% humidity for 9 months out of the year.

My old Chief Engineer runs a hotel in Xiamen and it is a choice location to live.  You will love it.  Take the time and visit Taiwan when you get a chance.

I've been living in China for over a decade.  Still can't speak Chinese worth a darn.  Everyone wants to speak English with me.  Yet, I get around.  Try to pick up some language.  It will help alot.  Food in China is outstanding.  Try BBQ and hot pot. I actually like Hunan and Sichuan. Try Gung Pao Ji Ding.  It is like "General Tsos chicken" in the States but 2000 times better.  Also try Ma Po Dou Fu.  It is like a kind of tofu chili without the beans.  It is awesome!

It will be hard for the first three months or so.  Hang in there.

Welcome to China!


Hi Matryn

Thanks your reply and it would be nice to meet up for a drink and chat.I have some Chinese friends from SIngapore who, if are around,  may also be able to join us and I have some ideas on where to go , it seems like there is quite a bit to see and do there in Xiamen.

Hope you are "finding your way" and enjoying Xiamen so far and I look forward to meeting up in a few weeks.If you have WeCHat perhaps you can add me => Miles-vcspl-sgx

Thanks Matryn.


I grew up in Fort Smith, but lived in NWA for over 10 years.  I try not to get too enthusiastic about my support for the Hogs because I care about my state of health.  Watching Razorback football is bad for my heart, I think. 

I have plans to visit all the local areas and nations.  I plan on living in China for at least 4 years, so I hope in that time I can knock off several items on the bucket list of places to see.

I love Chinese food!  I have had actually had the chicken dish from a local place down the road.  My boss loves going.  It was SO good!  And cheap, too.  I love being able to walk to many great places to eat and shop.  I will look for Ma Po Dou Fu. 

I'm entering into my 3rd month here, and I think I've adjusted really well.  I am starting to recognize places on the island, and can direct cabs to my favorite restaurants once we get close.  I'm still having some hiccups with other aspects of Chinese life, but I practice my Chinese daily, so I hope to have a passing ability to converse within the year.


You are a better man than I am.  Keep your Chinese language practice.  Heck, my dog speaks Chinese better than I do.

China is awesome.

I have reached a point, after being here a while (it happens to all expats), where you become "different".  I can never become 100% Chinese, and I am no longer 100% American. It's a bittersweet feeling. Don't misunderstand, I love China but I will forever be a laowai.

Hi there!
i'll be moving to Xiamen to teach English a little over a week from now. If you're still looking for expat friends I'll be in the area. Hope your transition went well!

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